The public utility company Eskom has announced the implementation of stage two load shedding across its network between 09:00 and 22:00 (local time) on Thursday, August 20. Although three power generator units were returned to service at Duvha, Hendrina, and Tutuka power stations, continued issues with a generation unit at Tutuka has made further power restrictions necessary. Eskom has warned that a further deterioration in performance could lead to further load shedding at short notice. The company has appealed to the public to reduce the demand placed on the grid.
Load shedding was suspended in March due to the ongoing coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. However, an increase in pressure on the power grid due to winter conditions, the reopening of industries following an easing of COVID-19 restrictions, and breakdown at power plants have placed pressure on the power grid, exacerbating issues arising from the lagging maintenance and lack of investment in electricity production infrastructure.
Those in affected areas are advised to monitor the situation, keep battery-operated devices fully charged whenever possible, and to be cautious when driving or crossing streets if traffic signals are not functioning.
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